Overview of New Directions Research Program

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Through research, exciting opportunities exist to expand Ontario’s agri-food industry. The development of new and alternative products provides potential to increase the diversification of agriculture. The discovery of new technologies could help Ontario’s agri-food sector expand market opportunities at home and in international markets.

The purpose of the New Directions Research Program is to stimulate the sustainable growth and competitiveness of Ontario’s agri-food sector through investment in innovative and high quality research in partnership with industry, rural communities/organizations, other levels of government and research institutions. With the addition of new projects in 2011, the program has committed $20.7 million to 247 research projects at a wide variety of public and private research institutions.

The New Directions Research Program is a competitive research fund open to universities, research institutes, industry, governments, organizations or partnership networks. Applicants outside Ontario may also apply if they can demonstrate how the proposed research will provide significant benefits and/or a unique competitive advantage for Ontario’s agri-food industry.

A Call for Proposals is issued on an annual basis. The application procedure involves a two stage process which includes submission of a letter of intent followed by a full proposal.

Research funded through the New Directions Research Program has generated valuable new information and novel/improved technologies that are already impacting Ontario’s agri-food industry. Some examples of program outcomes are:

  • community based strategies to help solve water quality issues
  • development of a system that enables rapid and sensitive detection of components such as isoflavones in soybean or mycotoxins in grain in less than five minutes
  • development of a new probiotic yogurt that shows promise in reducing the symptoms of grass allergy
  • the use of white button mushrooms to produce pharmaceutical products

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-888-466-2372 ext. 64554
Local: (519) 826-4554
E-mail: research.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: Daphne Tot, Research Analyst/RIB
Creation Date: 06 August 2009
Last Reviewed: 15 November 2011